The City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan's Business School will host the Michigan Green Communities Leadership Academy July 16 & 17. The Academy, facilitated by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor SPARK, will be an opportunity for local government leaders and their regional partners to learn and develop strategies to further green economic development. 18 cities, from Marquette to Detroit, are sending teams of three or four individuals to participate in the event. Those teams will learn about sustainability initiatives in Michigan and across the country that can be adapted and implemented locally. They will learn valuable strategies for engaging the public and communicating about the economic and community benefits of sustainability. And they will build leadership capacity and skills to advance sustainability initiatives together when they return home.
The Michigan Green Communities network is dedicated to bringing unique peer-learning and technical assistance opportunities, such as this Leadership Academy, to its members. Mark your calendars now for the third annual Green Communities conference November 2 in Lansing. To join the network, contact Laura Matson.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him by email or Twitter.
As part of Michigan's Complete Streets Act passed in 2010 (Public Act 135 of 2010), a "Complete Streets Advisory Council" was created to advise the state transportation commission on a overall policy. That work has been completed and comments are being accepted by the State Transportation Commission on the draft policy through this Friday, July 13.
Recall that a complete streets policy is meant to promote safe travel for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and those with disabilities to easily and safely use roads in their communities. More than 70 communities in Michigan have taken some type of action to favoring Complete Streets.
The MML was a strong supporter of the legislation that was passed and signed into law and believes that creating streets and roads in downtowns and neighborhoods that are meant for all users helps to create a vibrant community.
Anyone has the opportunity to comment on the proposed policy through July 13th. At least one organization, The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition, is encouraging people to contact the commission and ask for a stronger policy.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail
Such is the title of the most recent Outlook series from the Lansing State Journal.
Articles from League partners, Lou Glazer at Michigan Future, Dave Waymire of Martin-Waymire Communications detail the importance of smart, young workers and present a different kind of scorecard matching up Michigan with Massachuetts.
Pat Gillespie, a Lansing-based developer discusses the kinds of development needed to make a vibrant 21st Century commuity and Holly Hetzner of the Prima Civitas Foundation talks about the importance of nurturing entrepreneurs. Other articles describe the importance of public art and social networking.
Sound familiar.. it should. Each and every topic is among the eight assets of vibrant communities we've outlined in our "Center for 21st Century Communities." Through the work of the center, our blogs, books and radio show the conversation is changing to a understanding that Michigan's future economic prosperity rests on investing in Michigan's communities.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Inititiaves and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
The third annual Michigan Green Communities conference is scheduled for November 2, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League's Capital Office in Lansing. Staff and elected/appointed officials from local government, colleges and universities, or other organizations partnering with local government are invited to submit a proposal to present at the conference. Initial presentations to the entire audience of 75 will last 10 minutes. Presenters will then have the opportunity to lead break-out discussion sessions with 10-30 attendees to continue a more in-depth conversation about the presentation topic. Submit your proposal here by July 27.
Contact Laura Matson with the City of Ann Arbor with any questions. Visit the Green Communities webpage for presentations and videos from the previous two conferences.